HAMPSHIRE Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new president.

Andrew Finney steps into the role following the death of former president Dick Oram in October last year.

Mr Finney, a successful businessman, is a well-known figure in the north of the county and became managing director of the HCR Group in Basingstoke more than 20 years ago.

He is chairman of the board at Anvil Arts, a past board member of SEEDA, and former leader of Basingstoke and Deane District Council.

Mr Finney, who thanked interim president and chamber director Adrian Leach, said: “A lot of work has gone on recently to position the chamber as the leading voice and force for business throughout Hampshire and I am proud to take on the role of president at this pivotal time.

“As a member-led organisation I am committed to ensuring we accurately represent the views of our members locally and on the national stage, that we provide them with the support and services that they need in order to be successful, and that there is recognition that Hampshire businesses deliver a huge amount to the national economy across a broad range of business sectors.

“I will be actively engaging with the members, and working closely with the board, executive and staff to realise our plans.

“We have a really strong story to sell as to what we can deliver as a county. If anyone has ideas, challenges, issues that they want to bring to my personal attention, I shall warmly welcome them.”

Chief executive of Hampshire Chamber Stewart Dunn commented: “We feel privileged to have Andrew as our president. Throughout his career in business, whether as an employee or an employer, he has always believed in putting something back, right down to when he was in Cardiff 25 years ago and served as vice-chairman of the Cardiff chamber.”